San Diego’s life sciences are an important industry

Assemblymember Marie Waldron
Special to the Village News

San Diego County ranks fourth in the nation as a center for the Life Science industry after Boston, North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham region, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

As a member of the Assembly Health Committee, I advocate for affordable and accessible life science innovations for patients’ quality of life.

The importance of the industry locally was highlighted during a recent tour of life science facilities clustered in the La Jolla area, arranged for legislators and staff by the California Life Sciences Association.

The cluster includes biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics companies, research universities and institutes, developing life-saving medical treatments, discoveries about the human genome, digital health innovators blending technology and medicine to transform healthcare, and agricultural companies improving food outputs.

The tour began at Organovo, a leader in creating functional tissues for use in research or implants to replace damaged or diseased tissues. Since one-third of drugs approved by the FDA between 2001 and 2010 were later found to have safety issues, using living tissues should improve those results and patient outcomes.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals, founded in Japan in 1781, has expanded worldwide, including research centers in Boston and San Diego. Takeda has invested over $1 billion at its San Diego R&D facility, which generates disease specific, patient tailored medicines impacting gastrointestinal (GI), central nervous system (CNS) and immunology.

The Sanford Burnham Prebys (SBP) Medical Discovery Institute, which conducts extensive research into cognitive diseases, neuroscience, immunity and metabolism disorders, is seeking advanced treatments for patients worldwide, including treatments for Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.

From extensive use of robotics to the latest bio-printer technology, our region is on the leading edge of medical research. I am proud to salute San Diego’s life sciences industry and its ongoing role in supporting and enhancing life-saving medical research.

Assemblymember Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.

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